Enhancing the National Park Service
It takes approximately 200 employees to run Shenandoah National Park. These employees range from backcountry Rangers to education specialists to maintenance staff. They provide recreation and educational programs, road and trail maintenance, operate waste water treatment facilities, protect wildlife, ensure visitor safety, and so much more.
A world-class national park like Shenandoah needs—and deserves—world-class employees. These employees must be smart, adaptable, forward-thinking and willing to take on 21st century challenges. This requires access to training and opportunities to learn from and leverage expertise outside the National Park Service.
The Trust has developed two discretionary funds, administered by the park Superintendent, to support excellence in Shenandoah National Park.
Robert Jacobsen Employee Development Fund: Provides funding for park employees to pursue trainings in leadership and other career-enhancing areas. Last year, recipients of Jacobsen funds engaged in trainings that ranged from law enforcement to wildland fire safety to management and leadership.
Expert in Residence Fund: Enables park employees to engage experts in natural resource protection, cultural resource protection or other park-related goals for short- to mid-term projects. For example, in 2014 the Park engaged a cultural resource expert to assess the restoration viability of a number of historic assets that are in a state of disrepair.